Reading has become a passion of mine. Over the years, I’ve developed quite the library of some of the best, most practical and educational books that not only encourage you to chase your dreams, but provide you with practical advice on how to manage your time, your finances, your team, and how to achieve a healthy work-life balance.
In this series, I’ll be sharing some of my favourite business and business-related books that have inspired me, and helped me navigate through my fears to achieve my entrepreneurial goals.
For the last two years, I had been wallowing in regret – I had let my dreams of writing fall by the wayside, and had every single excuse as to why I “wasn’t able” to pick up my laptop and just do it. In Start.: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average, and Do Work That Matters, Jon Acuff, a renowned author and keynote speaker, debunks those excuses that we all make at some point in our lives, and sets us up to start our projects and businesses off with confidence.
Today matters, don’t waste it.
Have you ever stopped to really think about the fact that each day that goes by will never return again? The brevity of that weighs most heavily on me on the days that I’ve completely wasted just sitting on my couch watching useless reality TV. Every single day matters. Of course no one is perfect, and we all have days were we want to shut off our brains, don our comfiest sweats, and do absolutely nothing.
For me, today was one of those days (it’s a holiday in Toronto). I could have looked at the time that I’d already wasted today and thought, “oh well, no point in starting now. It’s too late”, but I didn’t.
Regretting that you didn’t start earlier is a great distraction from moving on your dream today- Jon Acuff, START
Don’t flounder in your regrets or procrastinate until you feel inspired. Do something productive towards your goals today! Make it count!
Share your dream with others
One of the best ways to ensure that your dream stays holed up in your own head, and never sees the light of day is to keep it your little secret. Two years ago, when I had “taken a break” from writing; the truth was I had fallen out of my groove due to laziness, and had let fear pull up a chair and settle into my life.
It’s easy to close yourself off from people when you’re too afraid to work on your dreams and expose yourself to the (assumed) scrutiny of your peers and society. Tell someone that you trust about what you want out of your life and your business. Tell the person that you know won’t buy into your excuses and let you sit idle as time goes by. Tell someone – chances are they’ve felt the way you feel and have been through a similar experience.
Dreams die in isolation.
One of fear and doubts chief aims is to make you feel alone. Like you’re the only one who feels a certain way – Jon Acuff, START
Attribute Value to your life
You get to assign value to the things in your life, and the value you assign will radically change how you interact with them – Jon Acuff, START
Take an inventory of your life and attribute a value to it. Time, just like money, is finite and notorious for slipping through your fingers if you aren’t intentional about how and where you spend it. Ask yourself, are the people you’re spending your time and energy on building you up and encouraging you to live out your dreams? Are your social activities forging you into the kind of person you want to be? What kind of conversations are you having with co-workers? Is it helping you be a better employee, or creating bitterness towards your job or company?
Sometimes we need to re-assign different areas of our lives to their rightful place. I had to assign greater value to making sure I was writing, otherwise it’d be the last thing I’d get around to, after all my energy had been spent on much less important or useful things.
I’d highly recommend this book to any of you who are struggling with getting your project off the ground – whether because of fear, laziness, mismanagement of time or resources. We all have our excuses, but unless you get real with yourself and those around you, you’ll always be left wondering,“what if?”
Learn more from my conversation with Jon Acuff for The PODIUM Magazine:
Here’s to being productive on a holiday,